She shuts her eyes and tries to sleep. She turns, again and again, trying to clear her mind. She opens her eyes. As they adjust to the darkness, she peers around her room. They gave her this, everything she had. She lay thinking to herself why she couldn't just be grateful. Grateful for the life they had given her, the things they had presented her with, the guidance they had shown her. Why couldn't she just love them as much as they loved her? Why couldn't she say those three tiny words to them?
She lay, alone in the darkness of her solitary room, hating herself. Hating herself because she knew why she couldn't love them and be nice to them. And it was all her fault. It was under her control and she chose not to try. She chose to be selfish, she chose to alienate them ... She resented them for messing things up for her. She resented her mother for getting sick and leaving her alone for three months. She resented that now her mother was not the same person she had once known. She resented her father for treating her mother like a child. She resented her mother for treating herself like a child. But she resented her mother most because she was actually like a child.
She lay thinking how she wishes she could just be nice to her. She lay thinking that she should realize how lucky she is just to have her around. But she can't convince herself that she is lucky. She doesn't have a mother. She doesn't have someone to talk to, to confide in, to seek comfort from. She has a stranger living in her house.
She shuts her eyes again, tightly this time, as though trying to squeeze her thoughts out of her mind. A tear streams down her cheek and a shaky breath escapes. She wills herself not to cry, wills herself not to think. Her thoughts hurt her. Sleep is her only escape. She turns over, her head hitting the soft pillow. She thinks of nothing but blackness as she begins to fall asleep. c
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.